We at Migrante Austria raise our fists on International Labor Day 2020 to salute the workers of the world, who continually shed sweat and blood for the rest of society.

The most impoverished, marginalised and excluded groups who do not have access to good quality basic goods and services: food, housing, basic amenities like water and energy, health services, education and social protection are the most vulnerable during this crisis. We call attention to the conditions of undocumented migrants who were already vulnerable even before the outbreak. They have no access to social and health services and more often than not, they are excluded from government policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably exposed the deep-rooted inequalities that exist within countries and globally. The endless weeks of layoffs and lockdowns have made clear that poor and working-class bear the brunt of the crisis.

As the battle against COVID-19 continues, in general, we call for
  • Accessible health services to all regardless of our jobs and immigration status
  • Protection of labour and human rights, job security and from discrimination
  • Inclusion of all migrants and refugees in all national, regional and international policies addressing COVID-19.
  • Socialized health care program for all people and fight against neoliberal agenda privatising health care system
  • End to militarization and fascism

In the case of the Philippines, we see that the Labor Export Policy of the Philippine government has, for decades now, systematically  and mandatorily made millions of Filipinos slaves abroad. Owing to this policy, thousands are leaving the country everyday. Our migrant workers should be considered heroes, the dollars they send contribute to the economy and help finance the expenses the past and the present administrations.

The lives of Filipino migrants are characterized by uncertainty at this time. Keeping alive the family left in the Philippines is a big problem. Lockdown is catastrophic because there is no financial assistance and systematic plan. The president of the Philippines held a press conference but nothing substantial came out of it – only intimidation, swearing and lies!


1. Hence, we call on President Duterte and his government agencies to provide financial relief and medical attention to all OFWs under quarantine who were sent home. Without financial aid and medical attention for OFW’s, quarantine shelters are nothing but plain detention facilities. They have also  families to support and without any income, the hunger and hardships being experienced by their loved ones add up to their distress, and

2. The Duterte government is hell-bent on mandatorily extracting Philhealth collections even at this period of crisis. Its terrible greed is more than likely to outlast this pandemic. In this light, we demand to stop extracting collections on  Philhealth, OEC , SSS contributions, OWWA fee, POEA documentation fee, etc.

3. We support the workers’ major demands for the Labor Day protest such as: Solusyong Medikal, Hindi Militar and Ayudang Sapat Para Sa Lahat, Mass Testing, Hindi Mass Arrest.

4. Further, we call on the government to provide immediate relief to all workers as only about 300,000 were given financial aid out of 2million displaced workers!from the President’s report on the 5th week of ECQ,

5. We also underscore the need for income guarantee for all workers, as millions do not have income with the prevailing ‘no work, no pay’ system!

6. In this light, “ECQ or no ECQ, tuloy ang Laban! No threat of Martial Law will stop us from reaching out to the largest sector of workers. We will make sure Duterte will hear the loudest bang of our hammers and the clamor of workers across the country!. We are ready to hold noise barrages in their respective homes and localities.


Michael Garlan
Secretary General, Migrante Austria
Mobile Phone no. 43 688 64588082